Gilbert 9/11 Memorial

After school yesterday, the boys and I took a short drive to 50 E Civic Center Drive to visit the 9/11 Memorial.

Max and Brady were able to put their hands on the beam. The twisted metal made Patriot Day a little more real to them.

Maria Behr went to my high school, her mother Hermana Behr was my Spanish teacher. She is greatly loved and greatly missed. We said a prayer for her.

The Memorial includes panels with the names of people, ordinary and brave who had lives to live and things to do.

Bishop McDevitt High School observes a moment of silent prayer on Patriot Day. The flagpole was donated by Maria Behr’s family.

I don’t like to tell my children about 9/11. But I told them all the same.

Photo by Patrick Witty “I took this photograph exactly 11 years ago this morning, at 9:58 am, just as the South Tower of the World Trade Center began to collapse. I still do not know the names of the people in the picture, but would love to. Please share this picture in the hopes they contact me.”

I also told them what Fred Rogers said on Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood. “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”

The world is full of good people, just like you and me.

Patriot Day 2012

Dear Students,

Tuesday is Patriot Day. This day is observed in memory of the people who lost their lives on September 11th 2001 in Washington, DC, New York City and Pennsylvania.


This week I will read the book FIREBOAT: The Heroic Adventures of the John J. Harvey, a true story.

I visited New York City on September 13, 2001 with my friends Cris and Alvin. To write this post, I went into my closet and dug my old pictures out of a shoebox.

I took this picture with my camera near the Holland Tunnel. I was used to seeing the towers in this picture. They should be in the middle. Columns of smoke replaced the towers. The smoke curled into the sky for days.

It is hard to put Patriot Day into words. It is a day for togetherness, for service and remembering everyday people that lost their lives on a brilliant, beautiful September morning.

ambulances were parked by the dozen along the harbor. Dump trucks, police cars, and more dump trucks drove in and out of ground zero. There were police everywhere.

New York is called the city that never sleeps. There were people everywhere. Jogging. Walking their dog. Living their life. And there were people like me, who just wanted to be there.

I saw many people saying “Thank you” to police, fire fighters and EMTs.

This is the beginning of Patriot Day right here.

Everywhere you looked in Manhattan you saw folks holding a flag

On Patriot Day, we put out our flag, we remember those that lost their lives on 9/11.

People tied ribbons to the fence. It stretched an enormous city block, little white ribbons fluttering, people adding torn strips to it the whole day and night. It says “I am still here.”

My pictures are a poor way of showing how enormous the sense of community is in New York City.

This is a quiet way of showing togetherness.

The events of 9/11 only brought all of us closer together.

Patriot Day is part of our American story. For a list of events in the Phoenix area, follow this link.

America is much more than a geographical fact.  It is a political and moral fact – the first community in which men set out in principle to institutionalize freedom, responsible government, and human equality.  ~Adlai Stevenson

Some people spend Patriot Day as a day of service. Some people go to community events. I will take my boys to Gilbert to see our own 9/11 memorial.

Last year, I went with my boys to the dedication of the 9/11 memorial. Chandler is dedicating a similar memorial this year.

Mrs. Kenney

P.S. More information on the Chandler dedication here:  Chandler will dedicate a steel beam from the ruins of the World Trade Center during a memorial service on Sept. 11 to honor the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The city is inviting the public to the 30-minute event that will include Mayor Jay Tibshraeny, Fire Chief Jeff Clark and Police Chief Sherry Kiyler.

The event will include the unveiling of a memorial that includes a 417-pound section of I-beam that is more than five feet long, and that had been on display for several months inside the Fire Department headquarters. The memorial was designed with feedback from fire personnel and incorporates elements that represent the attacks on the Trade Center, the Pentagon and the Pennsylvania field where Flight 93 crashed.

Click here to find out more! The 30-minute memorial begins at 8:40 a.m. at the Fire Department headquarters, 151 E. Boston St.

For more information, (480) 782-2120 or visit

You might also like “14 Cows for America” in our library, to learn the true story about the gift from the Masai to the American people.